Can Employers Mandate H1N1 Flu Shots?
With flu season upon us, many employers are beginning to question their rights regarding enforcement of the H1N1 (or swine flu) vaccine, and employees are beginning to question whether they can refuse it.
Both sides wonder whether employers can force employees to get an H1N1 shot. If an employee refuses, what recourse does the employer have? As it turns out, a lot may be at stake. Because Missouri is an employment-at-will state, employers can change the terms and conditions of employment at any time and for any reason unless there is an established pre-existing contract stating otherwise, and as long as discrimination has not occurred according to state and federal laws. This means the employee either can adhere to the terms and conditions of employment, or refuse them and risk termination. Likewise, the employee can terminate the employment agreement at any time without any prior notice.
In a nutshell, employers can mandate that employees get a flu shot, except when the shot violates one’s religious beliefs, or if an individual is allergic to vaccines.